Samsung Galaxy Book – what can the new laptops with Quick Share?

Samsung’s new Galaxy Books advertise seamless working across device boundaries with an integrated smartphone. That sounds suspiciously like Apple, but can Samsung keep its promise?

The elephant is in the room. After all, the new seamless user experience Samsung promises for its new Galaxy Books is something Apple users out there have known for years.

File exchange from the phone to the computer and back? No problem with Apple Airdrop. Synchronous data in online storage, without additional apps, word processing, spreadsheets, mails and presentations? Does the iCloud. Windows users don’t have these direct options. They have to take detours via paid Office packages, additional apps or third-party services.

And this is exactly where Samsung comes in: Galaxy Book and Galaxy smartphones should simply work together. No long fiddling, no computer science studies – just tap and you’re done. How does it work?

Viewed: Three flat, plain notebooks

Visually, the notebooks are not conspicuous. Simple and elegant, they are available with Windows 10 as the convertible Galaxy Book 360, the large Galaxy Book notebook and the slim high-performance Samsung Galaxy Book Pro. The laptops are equipped with Intel chips from Core i3 to i7, 8 to 16 gigabytes (GB) of RAM, up to 512 GB of hard drive storage, and LTE wireless on request (except 360). There is also the Samsung Galaxy Book Go with a Qualcomm chip. The price is between 450 and 1800 Euros.

All models are cleanly manufactured, have good screens and keyboards, fingerprint sensors and long battery runtimes. Unfortunately, pen input or touch controls are only available in the Galaxy Book 360, but Samsung’s Galaxy Book Pro has a very attractive AMOLED screen.

Setting up the laptops is quick. Once you have clicked through the Windows setup, you still need a Samsung account. All relevant Samsung programs then install themselves almost automatically in the background. This works right away, but also ensures that users now have to keep their software up to date in two places. Once Windows, once Samsung.

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Easy file exchange thanks to Quick Share

Then the test with the Samsung Galaxy S21 in hand. How does the data exchange work? Samsung’s solution for this is called Quick Share. It is preinstalled on the Galaxy Books and runs on all Samsung Galaxy devices with at least Android 10. Setting it up is simple: Turn it on, select who can see your computer or phone (no one, contacts, everyone), done.

Samsung's Galaxy Books im Test
Right-click on a file, select Quick Share, and the file whizzes to the smartphone. Photo: Till Simon Nagel/dpa-tmn

If you now share a file on your smartphone, compatible devices appear nearby. A tap on the icon sends the file over without further prompting. Whether you really want to receive it or not is not asked. Quick Share only works on the notebook when the corresponding app is started. However, the transfer speed is fast.

Sending files from the notebook is as simple as a right-click. Quick Share is listed as an option in the Windows context menu, where other devices in the vicinity can be found. These can be other Samsung notebooks, smartphones or tablets. Other Android and iOS devices are left behind. Quick Share is currently only available for Samsung devices.

Conclusion: Yes, works well when you only have Samsung

Samsung’s Quick Share works. It is a good tool for exchanging files quickly and facilitates working with multiple devices. With the other Samsung programs on the Galaxy Books, so many of the pains that Windows users previously had when running a notebook and smartphone disappear. Finally, you can move a file with a few taps and don’t have to upload it somewhere, send it by mail or drag it to USB sticks.

Samsung's Galaxy Books
Samsung’s Galaxy Books sind zur engen Zusammenarbeit mit den Smartphones des Koreanischen Herstellers vorgerüstet. Photo: Till Simon Nagel/dpa-tmn

However, what is missing in Samsung’s package is a neatly integrated online storage with its own calendar solution and productivity software. This would be the only way to catch up with Apple’s iCloud. Instead, there is Microsoft’s Office 365 and the online storage OneDrive. These services are again well integrated into Windows, and they also work reasonably well on Android smartphones. However, full functionality is only available with a paid subscription.

However, the new Galaxy Books remove a long-standing and annoying obstacle, at least for Samsung devices. So, if you already have a Samsung smartphone and are looking for a notebook, one of the Galaxy Books could be a good solution with added value. Those who do not have a Samsung smartphone will get solid notebooks for every usage scenario – without a smooth connection to their own smartphone.